Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio has a real talent for manipulating the news media. Yesterday he teamed up with Fox News columnist (and former Bush Press secretary) Dana Perino to let the world know about the vast left wing conspiracy attacking him because he’s gay.
Using examples from his failed mayoral campaign of outliers who tried to make his orientation an issue with right wingers, the Perino story builds to a crescendo incorporating the LGBT community and the left in general marching lockstep into the current congressional contest, united to smear and defeat his “true campaign message of hope.” It’s a pity party writ large and the story is playing well with the ‘GOP is persecuted’ set.
As is usual with Carl, it’s a boatload of crap. There are actual facts in the Fox story, but they’re spun completely out of context. The people making noise about his sexual orientation in the current congressional race are his socially conservative GOP brethren.
Why just this Monday, conservative platform Barbwire.com published a broadside questioning DeMaio’s candidacy…because he’s…GAY!!!! And then there is Congressman Randy Forbes, R-VA, whose lobbying to keep the party’s campaign groups from throwing any money at the gay candidates made Politico late last year.
I believe that many, if not most, Republicans have come around on the issue of sexual orientation. And it’s totally true that bigotry of all flavors knows no particular party affiliation. The feeble attempts at smears in the 2012 campaign by persons considering themselves allies of the Democratic party deserved the disdain and rejection that they got. Mostly they were ignored. But DeMaio’s attempt to put himself up on the cross in this campaign shouldn’t go unanswered.
This current public relations effort on behalf of Carl DeMaio is merely phase two of an effort begun back in February, which included high profile stories in theWashington Post and Wall Street Journal, That earlier effort, as Andy Cohen pointed out here, was an effort to use DeMaio’s sexual orientation as an argument automatically qualifying him as a ‘moderate’.
So, back to the Fox piece…here’s The Pitch:
No one in Hollywood would write this screenplay — unless it was a tragicomedy that ends with the candidate realizing the error of his ways and fleeing to the nurturing embrace of doe-eyed and loving Democrats. Exit weeping.
Isn’t his story what everyone who fights for equality says they’ve been fighting for?
When I talked to DeMaio, he said he doesn’t want to emphasize his sexual orientation or his challenging childhood – he prefers to talk about the fiscal condition of the country and his candidacy to defeat freshman Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat. But because he is who he is, and because his opponents are making an issue about his sexual orientation and lying about his record, he’s willing to talk about it. And he’s disrupting all of the stereotypes.
We’re expected to believe that the oafish efforts of some medical marijuana supporters in 2012 (who were all about getting revenge for votes DeMaio made as a city councilman) are cause for the President of the United States to be questioned by the media about the terrible tactics being used by the demonizing Democrats.
The PAC Behind the Vast Conspiracy
The political action committee known as Conservatives for Gay Rights Supporting Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012 was fined $7,500 by the City Ethics commission for violating campaign disclosure laws during that years mayoral contest. A supporter of the group also made donationsto Democrat Bob Filner. The group paid some contractors who had previous been used by the Democratic party.
Their amatuerish actions (which included push-polls and crudely photoshopped flyers) and the people associated with them were not, by all accounts, supported by the Democratic party.
So that’s the conspiracy. And it has nothing to do with the current election cycle.
There are LGBT and Democratic groups who have opposed DeMaio in the past and oppose him in his current quest for congresss, based on his actions and stances on issues. Many can’t forget his relationship with anti-gay crusader Charles LiMandri (and others) who donated to DeMaio’s mayoral campaign.
From a LiMandri email quoted by City Beat:
“Carl DeMaio specifically promised me, as a condition of my support, that he would not push the gay agenda issues (including same-sex marriage) as did Mayor Sanders. Rather, he was emphatic with me that he did not believe that the Mayor should concern himself with these issues as they are not his responsibility.”
The Rabid Right Response
Here’s the sort of thing that is making the rounds in this election cycle, and it ain’t coming from any left wing Democrat types:
Comments on the political blog San Diego Rostra accuse party and community leaders of colluding to endorse DeMaio before the candidate filing period closed and without input from central committee members and other rank-and-file Republicans. They also score DeMaio for refusing to debate Jorgensen and for fundraising outside the 52nd district in homosexual enclaves such as Palm Springs, West Hollywood, and Miami….
…Commenting on a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article, Karen Grube summed up the feelings of many local Republicans toward DeMaio:
Most Republicans here . . . don’t want someone representing them who lies to them and deceives them about how he will represent them, which in [DeMaio’s] case would be in a manner diametrically opposed to the values of the party he ostensibly represents and to their own values.
We know now by his own recent statements and actions like raising funds for other gay candidates nationally; by his votes supporting Harvey Milk Day in our public schools, the repeal of DADT, the rainbow flag in Hillcrest, requiring “partner benefits” for city contract bidders; and by his so-called “pension reform” deal that he promised would protect police officers but did not, that he has other priorities than representing the best interests of his constituents.
The National Organization for Marriage, the social-conservative group fighting the rear guard action for anti-Gay bigotry in the GOP has chimed in in support of Kirk Jorgensen, an ex-Marine seeking the nomination in this contest.
Here’s the lead-in from a recent NOM fundraising letter:
It’s a beautiful summer day in southern California. Throngs of people line streets as paraders march by. They include transvestite brides (men in wedding gowns) who strut their stuff. Nearby a float with bare-chested, heavily muscled men in tight underwear that leaves nothing to the imagination hold hands and dance on a rolling stage as rainbow flags fly behind them. Not far away women kiss other women and tattooed men embrace, pulling their half-naked bodies tight to each other. A confused-looking child watches this scene unfold as she holds a ‘we celebrate diversity’ sign, not exactly the type of plaything we’d expect innocent youngster to cling to.
In their midst the candidate walks down the street holding the hand of his gay lover. He waves at the crowd and smiles approvingly. These are his people, and he is at home.
Who is he? He’s Carl DeMaio. A homosexual activist who calls himself a Republican. And he wants to be a Member of Congress.
DeMaio followed up his free spin from Perino with an appearance on Greta VanSusteren’s Fox News program last night. The headline for the story/video was “Openly Gay GOP Congressional Candidate Says Democrats Are More Intolerant.” I’m sure we can expect a lot more of this sort of “truth” from the candidate, especially since his Obamacare sucks strategy seems to be going nowhere.
DeMaio is also facing some well (self) financed opposition from Coronado physician Fred Simon, who despite the grey hair, was called out as a “Young Gun” by the NRCC. His campaign has avoided attacks on DeMaio.